Pastor Barry's "Chapter & Verse" Day 185
July 4, 2018; Mark 2:16; 30/260(III); ‘Hateful Religion’
Mark 2:16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, "How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?"
The Lord Jesus continued calling those He wanted to be His disciples. Jesus told Levi, the tax collector to follow Him and become His disciple. Levi, who became known as Matthew, rose up and followed Jesus. Many of the tax collectors ate together and they invited Jesus to join them and He did. The religious leaders were indignant that Jesus would eat with ‘sinners’. As always, the Lord humiliated the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees telling them He came to call sinners to repentance. How else could those who did not know Jesus get to know Him, if He did not associate with them? The tax collectors did not ‘rub off’ on Jesus, He ‘rubbed off’ on them, Religion is hateful, it cannot and does not help sinners, it judges them. Even if the religious leaders did go and eat with the tax collectors, they would weigh them down with an endless list of do’s and don’ts that would push these men who needed the Lord further away, rather than drawing them to Him. These tax collectors probably knew all about the Pharisees and thought that if they represent God, they wanted nothing to do with what they had. Thank God the Father for the Example of Jesus. Again, He did not compromise with these tax collectors, but I am sure that He treated them kindly and shared with them how much they were loved. What Jesus taught, He lived. His sincerity and what He said to them must have amazed these men and opened their heart to believe in Him.